Google Voice Search or Search by Voice is a Google product that allows users to use Google Search by speaking on a mobile phone or computer. It works upon entering information on what to search into the device by speaking.
Initially named as Voice Action which allowed one to give speech commands to an Android phone. Once only available for the U.S. English locale – commands were later recognizable and replied to in American, British, and Indian English; French, Italian, German, and Spanish.
Google Voice Search was a tool from Google Labs that allowed someone to use their phone to make a Google query. After the user called (650) 623-6706, the number of Google Voice’s search system, they would wait for the words Say your Search Keywords and then say the keywords. Next, they would either wait to have the page updated, or click on a link to bring up the search page the user requested. At the moment, both the demo of this service and the page has been shut down. Since the introduction of the service, products from Google, such as GOOG-411, Google Maps and Google Mobile App, have been developed to use speech recognition technology in various ways.
What is Google Assistant?
Google Assistant is Google’s latest iteration of an assistant. It’s considered an upgrade or an extension of Google Now – designed to be personal – as well as an expansion of Google’s existing “OK Google” voice controls.
For anyone who has been using Android for some time, you’ll know that Google’s Google Now feature smartly pulls out relevant information for you. It knows where you work, and it knows your meeting locations and travel plans, the sports teams you like, and what interests you. This data is presented to you in cards and through reminders on your Android device.
The “OK Google” side covers voice commands, voice searching, and voice-activated device control, letting you do things like send messages, check appointments and so on your Android device, just like Apple’s Siri on an iPhone or iPad. Google Assistant fuses all this together with a new bot-centric AI experience, designed to give you conversational interactions that cover both these areas and more.
How does Google Assistant work?
The thing to remember about Google Assistant is that it is designed to be conversational. That means you can ask a question and then ask several follow-up questions, and Google Assistant will be able to keep track of the conversation, determine context, and audibly respond with the right information. Here’s how Google Assistant works across the different Google devices.
With Google Assistant baked deep into the new Pixel smartphones, it’s no surprise to find that there’s instant access from the home button. Where this home button would once give you Now on Tap with a long press, that’s now replaced by Google Assistant.
Long press on the home button and you enter the Google Assistant interface. This looks a lot like OK Google and can be triggered with the same hot word, with listening bars picking up your voice and instantly transcribing what you say onto the screen. You are then delivered a spoken reply, with results returned on the screen too. You can speak or tap your selections and the conversation continues.
For example, you can ask what you should have for dinner, and Google Assistant will locate local places to eat and serve up suggestions, with cards for a selection of restaurants. Google has further demonstrated this example by then booking a table using Open Table.
Google Assistant also takes over things like navigation. Say you want to navigate home — as you would with OK Google — that still works, but you can also ask to find coffee shops on the way, for example.
Things run much deeper, though. You can ask what your next flight is, when your trip is, and you can ask to watch a particular programme on Netflix, or you can ask to view dog photos from your collection. There’s also a wide range of fun options, like games, with a full panel show game hidden behind the “I’m feeling lucky” command.
Our experience so far suggests that Google Assistant is going to be huge and as it stands, it’s a long way ahead of Siri, Alexa or Cortana.